These are busy days for the WSOP.com online brand.
The international wing of the WSOP 2021 online poker tournament series is currently being hosted on GGPoker, and runs until September 12th. Back on U.S. soil, the Pennsylvania progressive knock-out series continues until August 29th. In parallel to this, the Nevada and New Jersey markets are enjoying the Rio Online Circuit series, which awards gold rings to event winners just like its bricks-and-mortar counterpart. The Rio series wraps up on August 31st.
With high-stakes tournament pros spread geographically across so many events, one might assume it would create some space in the winner’s circle for new names. Not so in today’s $2,000 buy-in super high roller, which logged the largest entry fee of the Rio online series.
The winner, Ankush “rickrosstheb” Mandavia topped a field of 74 entrants to take home the first prize of $50,325 and the coveted jewelry. The victory follows a fourth-place finish last month in WSOP Bracelet Event #13, a $1k no-limit hold’em tournament that paid him $32k. These recent cashes bring Mandavia’s 2021 earnings on the platform to around $180k.
Mandavia and Steinman also take home prizes
Mandavia has also enjoyed live success, with multiple cashes in the annual WSOP held in Las Vegas. Notably, in 2016 he won a $5k buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament for over half a million dollars and a gold bracelet. His total live earnings are listed by the Hendon Mob database at over $5.4 million.
As the 12-event online Rio series nears the half-way point, Mandavia isn’t the only experienced pro finding success. Event #2, a $320 buy-in double-stack tournament, was won by Ian “apokerjoker2” Steinman who pocketed over $23k and the gold ring. We hope the jewelry does not clash with the bracelet he won in the WSOP online series of 2020.
It should be noted that WSOP/GGPoker is not the only partnership running multiple series during this busy online poker summer. The massive WCOOP at PokerStars is well underway, the BOSS high-stakes series on ACR kicked off earlier this week, and partypoker continues to run tournaments, awarding WPT tickets among the prizes.
The COVID pandemic thrust many players from the live to online realm, but the current level of online action suggests online poker may have taken an important step forward in terms of expansion and solidifying a player base.
It will be interesting to see if the 52nd annual WSOP scheduled for Las Vegas next month exhibits similar levels of strength and health in the poker ecosystem.
Featured image source: Twitter